all four haunches and the ribs.
Summer always ended with a catfish
large as a grown man's thigh
severed at the hip, thrashing
in a tin washtub: a mean fish, a fish
who knew the world was to be endured
between mud and the shining hook.
He avoided easy quarry: possum
and squirrel, complacent carp.
He wouldn't be caught dead
bagging coon; coon, he said,
Former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove received the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. Her latest book publications are Sonata Mulattica and The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry.